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Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to Host Regional Community Radio Sammelan (South) to Mark 20 Years of Community Radio in India

Chennai: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is set to organize a two-day regional Community Radio Sammelan (South) on 13th and 14th February 2024 at Anna University Chennai, commemorating the two-decade milestone of Community Radio in India. All 117 Community Radio Stations from southern States and Union Territories will actively participate in this significant event.

The Hon’ble Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Anurag Thakur, will deliver the Keynote Address during the occasion. Dr. L. Murugan, Hon’ble Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, will also address the gathering through his special address.

Shri Anurag Thakur is expected to announce policy changes for the community radio sector during the Sammelan, aiming to provide impetus to the community radio movement in India.

The journey of Community Radio in India began in 2002 when the Government approved a policy for granting licenses to well-established educational institutions, including IITs/IIMs. Recognizing the importance of Community Radio as the voice of the community, the policy was broadened to include ‘Non-profit’ organizations like civil society and voluntary organizations, allowing greater participation in addressing issues related to development and social change.

The first Community Radio Station was inaugurated by Bharat Ratna L.K Advani Ji on 1st February 2004. Over the years, the sector has seen substantial growth, with the number of Community Radio Stations increasing from 140 in 2014 to 481 in 2023.

The Regional Sammelan coincides with the “World Radio Day” on 13th February, emphasizing the pivotal role of radio in fostering dialogue and communication within communities.

Community Radio, as the third tier in Radio Broadcasting, distinct from Public Service Radio broadcasting and Commercial Radio, operates as low-power radio stations set up and operated by local communities. It provides a platform to amplify local voices on issues related to health, nutrition, education, agriculture, and more. With broadcasts in local languages and dialects, Community Radio serves as a powerful medium for marginalized sections of society to voice their concerns and fosters community empowerment.

The event will focus on the journey and impact of Community Radio over the last two decades, recognizing its role as a unique tool for positive social change and community development.

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